CNMI CALL FOR U.S. COAST GUARD PATROL

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Dec. 11) - Immigratoin Director Martin Manglona yesterday said the U.S Coast Guard should patrol the borders of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas to prevent more human smuggling attempts.

"The Coast Guard controls all the waters in (this part of the) Pacific — we (don’t have anything) to do with the waters — it’s the federal government’s (job)," he said.

Manglona was asked to comment on the filing of human smuggling charges Monday in federal court against 15 individuals who tried to illegally enter Guam from the CNMI.

Attorney General Pamela S. Brown, in a separate interview, said her office will look into the case.

Senate President Paul A. Manglona, R-Rota, said the recent incident calls for a "thorough review and assessment" of CNMI immigration policies, specifically the need to impose stricter penalties.

He noted that the individuals, who were on a boat, managed to get near Guam without being noticed.

"This is a CNMI issue because it involves our immigration and we have control of it," the Senate president said.

"It is not an easy task, but we can prevent...this from...happening again," he added.

Senate Vice President Diego M. Songao, Covenant-Rota, said he would propose an oversight hearing on the incident.

"We (have immigration control) but we are dependent on the United States to patrol our borders because we do not have the capability to patrol," Songao said.

December 11, 2003

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

 

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